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How to know real interests? Preya and Shreya, 3000 Years old wisdom.

What is a position and what is an interest?

In a mediation or a negotiation, the position of a party is considered the reflection of the parties interest. This is already a challenge.

A negotiated agreement or a solution of a conflict, can only be durable and sustainable for both parties when there is ‘clarity’ concerning the positions of the parties.

What is an interest?

A lot of parties don’t even understand what is their interest. An interest is what is good for you (Shreya) not necessarily what you want or what you consider as pleasant (Preya).

Shreya comes from effort, willpower and patience.

Preya is instant gratification.

In Sanskrit it is called Preya and Shreya. Shreya is your real interests because it concerns what is good or beneficial to you.

It is the understanding of this difference and the application of it, that can contribute to a balanced and durable solution.

This reflection is a very important moment.

The process of understanding

It is in this phase of the mediation or negotiation that this exercice, analysis, is important for both parties. The goal is to find clarity behind the positions of the parties. It is from clarity that the process leads to balance.

To come to solutions and resolutions, you can not start from confusion. Confusion will lead to even more conflict or misunderstanding.

Narrow minded spirits will only think of their own profit and not think of mutual interest.

A narrow mindset has it difficult to make the difference between ‘I like, I want’ and ‘what is beneficial to me’ and doesn’t care about other peoples interests.

This shortsighted selfish thinking is in conflict with the importance of the understanding of the principle of interdependence and the constant change in Life. Without empathy and compassion, solutions will always be one-sided and damaging to relationships.

It is sad to see that humanity in general has a long way to go to understand these principles.

Nevertheless, those principles are known for thousands of years by the ‘sages’.

What is beneficial is not the same as what ‘I want’. I like wine, but I am conscious that drinking to much wine is not beneficial to me… And then there is the knowing and the acting…

With an open mind, or when we as mediators or negotiators contribute to open mindedness, we also contribute to clear, mutually beneficial and sustainable agreements.

An open mindset leads to more options.

Even ‘no deal’ becomes an option and it doesn’t have to be seen as a failure.

The process is successful when the mindset of the parties is touched so the process leads to clarity about interests, needs and values.

It is only from this clarity and transparency that lasting agreements can be generated.

In Life there are no winners or losers, there is only one humanity.

A solution in a conflict is profitable for both parties to the negotiation.


This post is a comment and addition to the following article: more, written by Svetlana Sergeyeva, mediator. It is my goal to support and to add to this article.

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